GREENWICH VILLAGE — Developers behind the heavily disputed plans for the triangle of land formerly part of St. Vincent's Hospital have presented new designs for a large park at the site.
Landscape architect Rick Parisi, of M. Paul Friedberg and Partners, unveiled plans Wednesday night for a proposed 15,102-square-foot park with more than 600 seats, 31 trees and 4,861 square feet of plantings on the St. Vincent's Triangle at Seventh Avenue between Greenwich Avenue and West 12th Street.
Village residents present at the Community Board 2 meeting expressed concern about the park's character and its impact on the area. Some locals expressed concerns that the park would never be created, or would be built but not maintained.
Village resident Janet Capron said she thought the design was "extremely generic" and that she wanted it to reflect the unique character of the neighborhood.
"This could just as easily appear next to a high-rise on the Upper East Side," she said at Wednesday night's meeting, sparking a round of applause.
"A design which fits in with and draws upon the historic character of the West Village, which is characterized by small, oddly-shaped but enjoyable green spaces, would be most appropriate for the site," Finkelstein said.
Community members also expressed concerns about potential vermin problems, homeless people sleeping in the park and the design's lack of a playground.
"That's a huge seating area with no activities and nothing for children," said Tobi Bergman, head of the community board's parks committee.
Melanie Meyers, a lawyer representing Rudin Management, ensured the group of about 40 people gathered for a meeting that the park would be the company's responsibility.
"It would be the obligation of the developer to develop the space and maintain it in perpetuity," Meyers said.
"The Rudin family is committed to working with the community to develop an appropriate design that will meet the community's needs," John Gilbert, chief operating officer for the land's developer, Rudin Management, added in a statement Thursday.
Meyers said plans for the park will likely include a memorial, perhaps for the Sisters of Charity of New York, who founded St. Vincent's in 1846.
Two representatives of the Queer History Alliance proposed that the triangle be used for what they called the New York City AIDS Memorial Park.
"St. Vincent's was the ground zero of the AIDS epidemic in America," alliance co-founder Christopher Tepper said. "We want something to recognize that."
A 2009 park design plan had suggested a park of less than 8,500 square feet that would have left more space for garbage facilities and a loading dock on the western half of the triangle.
Village resident Evette Stark objected that discussion of a park was "irrelevant," as long as a fraud investigation of St. Vincent's was under way and there were no plans for a full-service hospital on the site.
The proposed park, for which a cost estimate was not available, would satisfy the open space requirement of city land-use requirements.
North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital and Rudin Management are under public review to build a medical complex containing a 24-7 emergency department, full-service imaging center and outpatient surgery facility, and apartment complexes.
The plans are currently being reviewed by Community Board 2, and will then go to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, the City Planning Commission, City Council and finally Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The plan is also subject to review by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.